Round Tower Senior Footballers are off the mark for their Division 2 campaign. Their performance against Kilmacud Crokes will deliver relief and should bolster confidence for the remainder of the season that lies in wait.
Towers, who featured a number of lads emerging from the Minor ranks, were forced to dig deep to register their first win of the season. The sides traded scores in the early stages. Mick Hallows registered our first and Eric Finn seized upon a break to tap over our second. Ian Ward worked an excellent one-two with corner back Conor Byrne to kick our third score. Keeper Gary Cleary then found Finn in space and his excellent crossfield pass led to Thomas Galvin registering his first point. It edged Towers a point clear but the scenario could have significantly changed but for an excellent save from Cleary when he narrowed the angle and blocked a strike for goal. Crokes did level but Galvin was dragged to the ground and picked himself up to kick the free. And the margin was stretched to two for the first time during the game in the 27th minute. Win-back Adam Doyle initially fielded well and he was then released by Ward in space to cut inside and strike over. It was the final score of the half to leave it at 0-6 v 0-4.
The lead margin could have become five within a minute of the restart when Hallows and Ward worked it into substitute Conor Flannery but his strike careered back off the crossbar. Crokes returned upfield and were denied a goal by another point-blank save from Cleary. But the subsequent 45 and another point drew them level before Towers registered the games first goal. Doyle, Finn and Flannery worked it well up the and Hallows broke in on goal. He fisted across goal for full forward Liam Connolly to palm to the net. Crokes looked to respond with immediacy and rattled the bar before Galvin held possession well and supporting half-back Lee Moran kicked the point. The advantage was pushed to four on the 43 minute mark when Niall Byrne set up Ward for his second. Crokes did not lie down. They broke in on goal but a fisted effort drifted wide. But two minutes later they registered their first goal when a swift interchange of passes resulted in a low strike to the net. But Towers provided an emphatic response. Connolly tackled to win possession back and he slipped to Ward. His ball released Galvin up the wing and from a tight angle he provided a very delicate finish by dinking over the keeper, with the retreating defender failing to prevent it crossing the line. Crokes continued to push but Derek Murray provided two outstanding interventions in defence to deny. An outstanding field in the full back line led to substitute Joey Leech winning well in the half forwards and Ward went on to kick us six clear – 2-10 v 2-7. And emerging Minor Leech rounded off an excellence substitute appearance when he again won on the 40 and the return pass from Ward allowed him bypass the keeper and finish to the net.
The result lifts us to four from bottom and next-up is league leaders Sylvesters Wednesday 22nd May.
Round Tower: Gary Cleary, Shane Byrne, Dan Gregg, Conor Byrne, Lee Moran, Derek Murray, Adam Doyle, Liam O’Connor, Mick Hallows, Niall Byrne, Ian Ward, Kevin McGibney, Eric Finn, Liam Connolly, Thomas Galvin. Used subs: Conor Flannery, Joey Leech, Sean Casey, Matthew Kelly